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  • Author: Shannon K. O'Neil
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: North America was once called the New World. The people, their ideas, and the resources of the continent shaped the histories of the Old World—East and West. Today, North America is home to almost five hundred million people living in three vibrant democracies. If the three North American countries deepen their integration and cooperation, they have the potential to again shape world affairs for gen-erations to come.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Economic development is a critical component of promoting stability and U.S. security interests, particularly in conflict and postconflict zones. Reviving institutions and rebuilding an economic base are among the first priorities after fighting ends and reconstruction begins. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), negative economic shocks of just 5 percent can increase the risk of a civil war by as much as 50 percent in fragile environments. Additionally, donor assistance, which can account for 20 percent to as much as 97 percent of a country's GDP, is unsustainable in the long term. Building local business capacity and supporting homegrown entrepreneurs can help curb this risk. Research from Iraq has found that labor-generating reconstruction programs can reduce violence during insurgencies, with a 10 percent increase in labor-related spending associated with a 10 percent decrease in violence. And as Shari Berenbach, director of the Office of Microenterprise Development at USAID, argues, the development of “private enterprise is an important stabilizing force,” particularly for countries suffering from the political uncertainty and civil unrest that often characterizes the postconflict period.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David A. Shirk
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Mexico is in the midst of a worsening security crisis. Explosive clashes and territorial disputes among powerful drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) have killed more than thirty-five thousand people since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006. The geography of that violence is limited but continues to spread, and its targets include a growing number of government officials, police officers, journalists, and individuals unrelated to the drug trade. The Mexican government has made the war on drugs its top priority and has even called in the military to support the country's weak police and judicial institutions. Even so, few Mexican citizens feel safer today than they did ten years ago, and most believe that their government is losing the fight.
  • Topic: Security, War on Drugs, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Isobel Coleman, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Global demographic and health trends affect a wide range of vital U.S. foreign policy interests. These interests include the desire to promote healthy, productive families and communities, more prosperous and stable societies, resource and food security, and environmental sustainability. International family planning is one intervention that can advance all these interests in a cost-effective manner. Investments in international family planning can significantly improve maternal, infant, and child health and avert unintended pregnancies and abortions. Studies have shown that meeting the unmet need for family planning could reduce maternal deaths by approximately 35 percent, reduce abortion in developing countries by 70 percent, and reduce infant mortality by 10 to 20 percent.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Environment, Health
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: F. Gregory Gause III
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: There is arguably no more unlikely U.S. ally than Saudi Arabia: monarchical, deeply conservative socially, promoter of an austere and intolerant version of Islam, birthplace of Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Consequently, there is no U.S. ally less well understood. Many U.S. policymakers assume that the Saudi regime is fragile, despite its remarkable record of domestic stability in the turbulent Middle East. “It is an unstable country in an unstable region,” one congressional staffer said in July 2011. Yet it is the Arab country least affected in its domestic politics by the Arab upheavals of 2011. Many who think it is unstable domestically also paradoxically attribute enormous power to it, to the extent that they depict it as leading a “counterrevolution” against those upheavals throughout the region. 2 One wonders just how “counterrevolutionary” the Saudis are when they have supported the NATO campaign against Muammar al-Qaddafi, successfully negotiated the transfer of power from Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, and condemned the crackdown on protestors by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and how powerful they are when they could do little to help their ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Oil, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Whitney Shepardson
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) did not exist today, the United States would not seek to create it. In 1949, it made sense in the face of a potential Soviet invasion to forge a bond in the North Atlantic area among the United States, Canada, and the west European states. Today, if the United States were starting from scratch in a world of transnational threats, the debate would be over whether to follow liberal and neoconservative calls for an alliance of democracies without regard to geography or to develop a great power concert envisioned by the realists to uphold the current order.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO, International Cooperation, International Organization, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, Soviet Union
  • Author: Michael A. Levi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: U.S. policymakers talk more today about energy security than they have at any time since the energy crises of the 1970s. Yet scholarly understanding of the challenges at the intersection of energy and national security, and of the various policy tools available to address them, is surprisingly weak. On April 12–13, 2010, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) convened a group of thirty-six scholars and practitioners to assess the current state of knowledge about oil, gas, and national security, and to identify those areas where research was most needed. Participants included experts from academia, industry, government, and international institutions, and brought backgrounds in economics, political science, international relations, science, engineering, and law to the discussion.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert K. Knake
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States is being outmaneuvered in the international forums that will determine the future of the Internet. Led by Russia and China, nondemocratic regimes are organizing into a united front to promote a vision of the Internet that is tightly controlled by states. That vision is increasingly attractive to many Western nations wrestling with interrelated threats of cybercrime, industrial espionage, and cyber warfare. The United States must actively combat these threats while it works to protect U.S. national interests in the preservation and extension of the Internet as a platform for increased efficiency and economic exchange. Protecting this interest requires far more extensive engagement within Internet governance forums to shape the future of the network in a way that addresses security concerns without resulting in a cure that is worse than the disease.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Michael A. Levi
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Half a decade of high and volatile oil prices alongside increasingly dire warnings of climatic disaster have pushed energy security and climate change steadily up the U.S. policy agenda. Rhetoric in Washington has emphasized opportunities to deal with both challenges at once. But energy security and climate change do not always align: many important decisions in areas including unconventional oil, biofuels, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power will involve complex trade-offs and force policymakers to carefully navigate the two goals. Ongoing and heated debates in the United States and Canada over the future of the Canadian oil sands—touted at once as an energy security godsend and a climate change disaster—highlight that tension and emphasize the need to intelligently address it.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Canada
  • Author: Jeb Bush, Thomas McLarty
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States, a country shaped by generations of immigrants and their descendants, is badly mishandling its immigration policy, with serious consequences for its standing in the world. The urgency of this issue has led the Council on Foreign Relations to convene an Independent Task Force to deal with what is ordinarily regarded as a domestic policy matter. America's openness to and respect for immigrants has long been a foundation of its economic and military strength, and a vital tool in its diplomatic arsenal. With trade, technology, and travel continuing to shrink the world, the manner in which the United States handles immigration will be increasingly important to American foreign policy in the future. The Task Force believes that the continued failure to devise and implement a sound and sustainable immigration policy threatens to weaken America's economy, to jeopardize its diplomacy, and to imperil its national security.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael A. Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Policymakers consistently identify nuclear terrorism as one of the greatest threats facing the United States and the world. Indeed, the diffusion of technology, the rise of extremist ideology, and the steady spread of nuclear materials conspire to make nuclear terrorism an increasingly worrying prospect.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Washington
  • Author: Michael Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The basis of nuclear doctrine during the Cold War was deterrence. Nuclear powers were deterred from attacking each other by the fear of retaliation. Today, much of the concern over possible nuclear attack comes in the context of rogue states and terrorism. And since only states are known to possess nuclear weapons, an important question is how to deter them from letting terrorists acquire a device, whether through an authorized transfer or a security breach. Michael A. Levi analyzes this aspect of deterrence in the post–Cold War world, as well as what to do if deterrence breaks down. He suggests how to discourage states from giving weapons or nuclear materials to terrorists and how to encourage states to bolster security against any accidental transfer. The report also discusses the role of nuclear attribution—the science of identifying the origin of nuclear materials—in deterring transfers, an essential link in assigning responsibility to governments for transfers of nuclear materials.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Charles D. Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: According to a prevailing belief, humanity confronts two stark risks: catastrophes caused by climate change and annihilation by nuclear war. The conventional wisdom also believes that the former danger appears far more certain than the latter. This assessment has recently led an increasing number of policymakers, pundits, businesspeople, and environmentalists to advocate a major expansion of nuclear energy, which emits very few greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. While acknowledging the connection between nuclear fuel making and nuclear bomb building, nuclear power proponents suggest that nuclear proliferation and terrorism risks are readily manageable. Consequently, some of these advocates favor the use of subsidies to stimulate substantial growth of nuclear power.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David M. Marchick, Alan P. Larson
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Despite the significant benefits that foreign investment brings to the U.S. economy, a recent poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 53 percent of Americans believe foreign ownership of U.S. companies is “bad for America,” a sentiment that reached a boiling point with the proposed acquisition of the U.S. port operations of P Steam Navigation Company by Dubai Ports World (DPW). The DPW case brought to the public's attention the little-known executive committee charged with reviewing the security risks of foreign investment—the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)—and ignited a flurry of congressional activity to change its mandate and operations under the Exon-Florio Amendment to the Defense Production Act of 1950.
  • Topic: Security, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Dubai
  • Author: Robert M. Gates, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Susan Maloney
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Twenty-five years after its Islamic revolution, Iran represents a challenge and an opportunity for the United States. The issues at stake reflect the urgent and multifaceted dilemmas of U.S. security in the post–9/11 era: nuclear proliferation, state support of terrorism, the relationship between religion and politics, and the imperative of political and economic reform in the Middle East. At this time, as Iraq—Iran's neighbor and historic adversary—embarks on a difficult transition to post-conflict sovereignty, and as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extends its scrutiny of Iranian nuclear activities, Iran looms large on the U.S. policy agenda. Recognizing this relevance to vital U.S. interests, the Task Force advocates selectively engaging with Iran to address critical U.S. concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: J. Brian Atwood, Robert S. Browne, Princeton N. Lyman
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States will host the G8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia, in June 2004. Many urgent and critical international issues need to be discussed at the summit, especially developments in the Middle East and in the worldwide war on terrorism. It will be important, however, that the summit also maintain the momentum of the past three years in the G8-Africa partnership. This will reinforce the work of African leaders who are championing democracy, human rights, and good governance. Africa, moreover, figures prominently in the three global issues the United States has selected for the summit: freedom, security, and prosperity.
  • Topic: Security, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Georgia, Island
  • Author: Lawrence H. Summers, Henry A. Kissinger, Charles A. Kupchan
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The accomplishments of the Atlantic alliance are remarkable. History records few, if any, alliances that have yielded so many benefits for their members or for the broader international community. After centuries of recurrent conflict, war among the European great powers has become inconceivable. The Cold War has been won; the threat of nuclear war has receded. Freedom has prevailed against totalitarian ideologies. Trade, investment, and travel are more open today than ever before. Progress in raising living standards—in rich and poor countries alike—is unprecedented.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Frank G. II Wisner, Nicholas Platt, Marshall M. Bouton
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: South Asia may be halfway around the globe from the United States, but in the age of the Internet and globalization, what happens there—as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda tragically underscored—can affect all Americans. The challenge to U.S. policy over the medium term (through 2010) is to design and implement a stable and sustained approach that will solidify bilateral ties with three of the key countries of the region—India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan—and give the United States an opportunity to influence major regional developments. This report assesses the strengths and weaknesses of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and recommends how U.S. policy can best take advantage of the opportunities while addressing the dangers that they present. Success in dealing with South Asia will require sustained and highlevel attention, sensitive diplomacy, a realistic view of what is possible, and, especially with Pakistan and Afghanistan, investment of substantial resources.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, South Asia, India
  • Author: Frank G. Wisner, Edward P. Djerejian
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Today's Iraq debate is understandably focused on the run-up to possible military action. However, the question of how the United States and the international community should manage post-conflict Iraq is even more consequential, as it will determine the long-term condition of Iraq and the entire Middle East. If Washington does not clearly define its goals for Iraq and build support for them domestically and with its allies and partners, future difficulties are bound to quickly overshadow any initial military success. Put simply, the United States may lose the peace, even if it wins the war.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries
  • Author: Stephen E. Flynn, Warren B. Rudman, Gary Hart
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A year after September 11, 2001, America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In all likelihood, the next attack will result in even greater casualties and widespread disruption to American lives and the economy. The need for immediate action is made more urgent by the prospect of the United States's going to war with Iraq and the possibility that Saddam Hussein might threaten the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in America.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States